Geoffrey Hinton, an artificial intelligence pioneer, has recently joined the growing number of critics who believe that the tech industry is aggressively creating products based on generative AI that could potentially be dangerous. Hinton, who was once one of the most respected voices in the field and worked for Google for over a decade, has quit his job so that he can speak out about the risks of AI. Despite believing that the new AI systems could lead to breakthroughs in areas ranging from drug research to education, Hinton is also concerned that generative AI could be a tool for misinformation and could be a risk to jobs and humanity.
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Geoffrey Hinton Biography
|1970||Received BA in Experimental Psychology from Cambridge|
|1978||Received PhD in Artificial Intelligence from Edinburgh|
|1982-1987||Received Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence from Edinburgh|
|1987-present||Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research|
|1998-2001||Set up the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at University College London|
|2004-2013||Director of “Neural Computation and Adaptive Perception” program at Canadian Institute for Advanced Research|
|2013-present||Works half-time for Google in Mountain View and Toronto|
|Various Years||Received honorary doctorates from multiple universities|
|Various Years||Received multiple awards and prizes for research excellence|
|Ongoing||Continues to research machine learning and neural networks, with a focus on deep learning|
Hinton’s journey from an AI groundbreaker to a doomsayer marks a remarkable moment for the technology industry at perhaps its most important inflection point in decades. With the fear that they are releasing something dangerous into the wild, many industry insiders are questioning whether they are creating products that are too risky. Hinton said, “It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things”.
Risk to Humanity
Recently, more than 1,000 technology leaders and researchers signed an open letter calling for a six-month moratorium on developing new systems because AI technologies pose “profound risks to society and humanity”. The debate around the safety and ethics of AI continues to grow as more people become aware of the potential dangers of generative AI.
Geoffrey Hinton, often called “the Godfather of AI,” did not sign the letter and said he did not want to publicly criticize Google or other companies until he had quit his job. He notified the company last month that he was resigning. In 2012, Dr. Hinton and two of his graduate students at the University of Toronto created technology that became the intellectual foundation for the AI systems that the tech industry’s biggest companies believe are key to their future.